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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Donya Jam: Being a voice for the voiceless

Donya Jam is an Iranian-American human rights activist and also a dear friend of mine. She dedicates all of her passion and energy to writing and protesting against the current regime in Iran. I have had the pleasure of interviewing Donya on my radio program. Recently she attended the annual "Free Iran Rally" in Paris. The story you are about to read appears in my book, "The Cross in the Desert: Speaking hope and freedom to Iran."

 “Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.” (Proverbs 31:8)

 Donya is one of my newest Iranian friends. She is an Iranian American who uses her freedom in a very unique way. Persian names have very special meanings that relate to one’s lifestyle. The name, “Donya” in Persian literally means, “world.” The meaning of Donya’s name fits perfectly with who Donya is. Donya is a powerful voice of hope for the world and most importantly for her people, her friends, her family, that still live under the oppression and fear of the Iranian Regime. Donya and her family have not forgotten their people. Just recently at a demonstration in front of the White House, Donya joined a group of protesters from “Iran resistance” to denounce and speak out against the increase of executions since Rouhani became President of Iran. One of her favorite Scriptures is Proverbs 31:8, which commands us to, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Donya is a voice of hope for Iranians, who because of imprisonment, torture and death, have to remain silent for fear of their lives.
I recently asked Donya to share her story so that her voice would be heard all over the world through my books. This is Donya’s story in her own words:

 Since the barbaric regime of Iran came into power in 1979, there have been nonstop executions and torture against the Iranian people. Shortly after the Revolution, its war against Christians began. A Christian Pastor by the name of Arasto Sayaah was killed by the Iranian Regime. Bahram William Dehqani-Tafti was another Christian shot to death by the Iranian Regime. Anyone who simply spoke their mind and did not agree with the regime was quickly arrested, thrown into jail, and put in danger of execution. Over 120,000 supporters of the Iranian Resistance, who supported 73 freedom and democracy for Iran, have been executed by the regime. My family had to flee from Iran because of their brutality. It was a very difficult decision. Either you start a new life as a refugee and face the difficulty it brings or live under barbaric cruelty. Life as a refugee has been very tough because you still feel the regime is trying to silence you. Since my family came out of Iran, Iran and the Iranian people are still in our hearts. My family and I continually think about the plight of the people of Iran. We began working with our Muslim friends side by side in the Senate, Congress and churches, speaking out and educating people about what is really happening inside of Iran. It is our responsibility as a Iranians to be a voice of hope for our people.
 My mother is an Iranian-Christian pastor. My family is serving the Lord. I have been raised in the church and I remember asking my mom one day if I could be baptized. That was truly an amazing day! Now as a Christian and an Iranian, I do my very best to give Iranians a voice. The Bible says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves,” (Proverbs 31:8)

 In September of this year, 2014, my family and I joined other protesters in confronting President Rouhani during his trip to the United Nations. Just recently, we attended a demonstration in front of the White House to protest against executions in Iran. The Iranian Regime is a very dangerous terrorist entity in the Middle East, even aiding the blood-thirsty dictator, Bashar al-Assad in Syria. I believe that this regime cannot be reformed. They are playing political games with the world. It is very plain to see that since Rouhani became President of Iran, the executions have increased, averaging one execution every seven hours. There is only one solution for Iran and that is a democratic regime change by the Iranian people and its resistance movement led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi. I pray and hope that very soon Iran will be freed from this evil regime and that one day a democratic government will be established

"The sun is gonna shine again: The rose is gonna live again."

The passion of my life is being a voice for my dear Iranian friends. Four years ago, I published a novel depicting the dangerous life of an Iranian freedom fighter named Bahareh. The name of the novel was "The rose of Nowruz: dreams of hope and freedom."
Bahareh was a concert violinist who became a powerful freedom fighter after witnessing a horrible scene on the streets of Tehran from her bedroom window.
The novel opens with that scene while Bahareh is practicing her violin.

"Bahareh continued to play her violin with passion and precision. The beautiful notes soared through the air of her tiny, quiet bedroom and out through the open window into Englehab street. In her mind’s eye, Bahareh could see the faces of her friends. They were laughing, smiling, rejoicing and having fun. Women were free to walk the streets without wearing their hijabs. There was an incredible celebration in the streets of Iran. There was no more violence or protests or arrests! The streets were filled with Iranians celebrating life once again.

“Take your hands off of me! Leave me alone. Help!”

The sounds of desperate screams coming from the streets rudely interrupted the joyous sounds of Bahareh’s violin. She immediately stopped playing and set her violin down on the bed and ran toward the window. She lifted up the blinds and gazed down below on Englehab Street. A security officer dressed in a blue uniform was struggling with a young girl. The young girl was fighting for her life and trying to resist being arrested. Finally, another officer joined in the struggle and they both began dragging her toward a green and white van parked along the curb. It was the Gasht Ershad, once again out on the streets of Tehran. The Gasht Ershad was the “morality police” of Iran that daily patrolled the streets enforcing the Islamic dress code. A group of six Iranian police officers drove a green and white van daily to inspect men and women, making sure they were wearing proper clothing in compliance with the dress code. Most women, when they spotted the van on the street, would immediately take off running to avoid the frightening confrontation. Women were instructed to wear a hijab whenever going out publicly. They had to make sure that the hijab was properly put on so it would fully cover their hair. In some cases women would a chador that fully covered their whole body and arms. In the summer heat, this was very uncomfortable; so many women refused to wear it and instead would do their best to avoid the Gasht Ershad. Women had to make sure that their skin was fully covered by their clothing or else they would risk a nasty confrontation with the “morality police!” Displaying too much skin because of inadequate clothing could result in a fine or even an arrest. Women were forbidden to wear nail polish or too much make up publicly as this was not appropriate under strict Islamic law.
The law stated that a woman could not reveal her hair or ankles or wear loose-fitting trousers that would expose skin. Violators of the Islamic dress code resulted in both minor and serious consequences. A woman could receive a verbal warning by a female interrogator in the streets and be forced to sign a written agreement to dress more appropriately and explicitly follow the dress code. The more severe consequences resulted in women being lashed, imprisoned for up to three months and forced to attend special classes on respecting the rules. Bahareh watched in horror as the two security officers physically dragged the screaming and distraught young girl and finally forced her into the green and white parked van. Two young men who had been watching the violent scene, began pushing the officers demanding them to let her go. “Leave her alone you medieval bastards!!” one of the young men shouted in protest. One of the officers pulled out a large baton from his belt and began savagely beating the young man. Another officer joined in and soon the young man was sprawled out on the sidewalk with blood streaming down his face, no longer resisting. Bahareh could no longer watch the horror from her window. She covered her face with her hands and sat down on the bed next to her violin. The once beautiful song of hope that she had been playing had been silenced by the violent tactics of the Gasht Ershad. The rose had been silenced and crushed just like the lyrics to the chorus of her song. A Free Iran seemed so far away. Despair and depression like a dark cloud filled Bahareh’s mind. She sat on the edge of her bed and wept and began to doubt. Bahareh lifted her face out of her hands. The screaming and yelling had finally stopped. The crowd below her window had dispersed. The Gasht Ershad had arrested another woman and severely beat a young Iranian protestor. They were moving on now to another section of Tehran looking for more violators.

 Bahareh wiped the tears from her eyes and stared down at her violin. She reached over and touched the strings with the tips of her fingers, whispering in a tearful voice,  “The sun is gonna shine again. The rose is gonna live again.”

"A prison of fear: Mehrnoosh's story."

     “A Prison of Fear.”                                      Mehrnoosh’s story      

“I was suffocating! I couldn’t breathe! My house was like a prison to me!”
 Unlike most marriages, Mehrnoosh’s marriage was as she describes, a prison of fear.
 Growing up in Iran, at the age of 20, Mehrnoosh met Abbas. He seemed like the perfect man, handsome, wealthy, educated, and yet as the old cliché goes, “looks can be deceiving!”
 Abbas went to work every day, like the normal husband but would call Mehrnoosh repeatedly from work to check up on her. Soon, he turned into a monster, becoming jealous, possessive and controlling. Mehrnoosh became a prisoner in her own home, having to obtain permission to leave.  Things quickly became worse! Abbas began to physically abuse her. Desperate to escape, Mehrnoosh called the police, crying out for help. But instead of responding to her cries, they ignored them and Mehrnoosh continued to be a helpless victim!  In Iran, women are treated like second-class citizens. They must wear a hijab (veil) publicly and adhere to a strict dress code, which includes not showing too much skin or too much make-up. The morality police patrol the streets of Iran daily and if a woman is not properly wearing her hijab and is in violation of the dress code, she can be fined, arrested and publicly lashed.  After several reports to the police, Mehrnoosh was finally allowed to see a Judge and report the physical abuse. However, instead of getting justice, she instead got a lecture from the judge.
 “Why are you here?”  The judge demanded, “ You should not be complaining to the court about your husband!”
 Mehrnoosh was devastated. She felt helpless.
 “Women are not treated like human beings in Iran,”  Mehrnoosh remembers thinking, “ We are treated like animals, like possessions!”
 The judge continued to lecture Mehrnoosh.
 “Your husband is your owner, ” he declared, ignoring the obvious marks of physical abuse on her face.
    Even though Mehrnoosh felt helpless and despaired; she understood why she was being treated in such a manner. This was consistent with the teachings of the Quran and the Islamic culture she was living in.

“I hated Islam!”

Mehrnoosh hated Islam because of the way Muslim men treated their wives. She remembered reading Surah 4 in the Quran:

“As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill conduct, Admonish them (first) (Next) refuse to share their beds (And last) beat them.”                                       (Surah 4:34)

“What kind of God would instruct a husband to beat his wife?” Mehrnoosh asked herself with anger and frustration.

The abuse continued. Mehrnoosh struggled to survive. “Every day of every moment,” Mehrnoosh cried out, I was sad and crying. I prayed all of the time but felt trapped with no p ossible way out!”
 For Mehrnoosh, life had become a living hell, filled with darkness and despair. A year later, she gave birth to her first son and named him Mehrsam ( nicknamed Sami). However, her life didn’t change. There was still turmoil and abuse. Desperate for her life and the safety of her son, Sami, Mehrnoosh met some people. They promised to help her. What can only be described as a miraculous answer to her prayers, she paid them a large sum of money and they smuggled both her and her son out of Iran to Sweden where the rest of her family was living. Sweden was a haven for Iranian refugees and Mehrnoosh believed she would finally be safe and rid of her abusive husband once and for all! However, to her astonishment, Abbas followed her to Sweden, where he confronted her and once again, the physical abuse began!
  This time, however, The Swedish Police immediately responded and Abbas was arrested, tried and imprisoned for two months before finally being deported back to Iran!

Mehrnoosh felt now that she was finally safe, but because of the many years of trauma and abuse, she felt like she was still in prison. Even though she had left the oppression of living in Iran, Mehrnoosh still felt trapped. Life in Sweden still felt like the prison of Iran.

“I was afraid to walk down the street. I was afraid that Abbas would suddenly jump out at me. I was living in a prison of fear, even in Sweden!”

Then one day, Mehrnoosh’s life took a drastic change for the better! She walked into a church and heard Christians singing and praising God. Mehrnoosh was astonished! She had never experienced or heard of Christians singing to their God. She had been taught in Islam that music was “haram” or forbidden and yet when she heard the music, she immediately felt a deep sense of peace and belonging. When the Pastor began to teach, she was impressed by what he said. The Pastor quoted the teachings of Jesus from the Bible about loving and forgiving your enemies. Mehrnoosh was drawn to the words of Christ, especially the command to, “love your enemies.” “What a contrast! What a difference !”  Mehrnoosh thought to herself, “ Christianity teaches to forgive and it’s so much different than what Islam teaches.”
 Mehrnoosh recalls that she never directly asked Jesus for help. But very soon, “He sent me my angel!”
 The fear of men had tormented Mehrnoosh and she could not talk to any male attorneys. A woman named Alina, was finally appointed to her case. She was like an angel, a true friend and she went out of her way to review her case, secure her documents from Iran and begin the process of residency for her. Mehrnoosh was still a refugee and she understood that the road to residency was a difficult one! Very soon, the Bible became a precious book for Mehrnoosh. She fell in love with Jesus. She was impressed by the compassion and love that he showed women.

“I was once dead and now I’m alive!”

  On April 27, 2014, Mehrnoosh became a member of the local church and was baptized. Everyone noticed the immediate change in her. She had a joy and peace that she never had before. Unlike most Iranians who declare they are Christians and are baptized just to escape Iran and gain residency, Mehrnoosh never needed to do that. Her case was progressing thanks to Alina, her dear Angel lawyer. Mehrnoosh described to me her inward feelings, she said, “I was once dead and now I’m alive!”
 Her favorite Bible verse is Psalm 46: verse 1:

“God is our refuge. God is our strength. A very present help in trouble.”

I have had the privilege of knowing Mehrnoosh for about six months. She is very hopeful that one day soon  she will be granted residency in Sweden. Every day, I share with her a Bible verse on Viber. She now has a bright and jubilant smile instead of a frown of despair. Jesus has indeed brought her out of death and given her a new life. She no longer is in a prison of fear!

*A few months after this story was published, God answered my prayers for Mehrnoosh. She became an official citizen of Sweden!
Today Mehrnoosh is now happily married to Rickard and lives with her son Sami in Sunvall.

Payamenh's painful childhood in Iran

 Paymaneh's painful childhood

Peymaneh was just a young eight year-old child discovering the world when suddenly her life was violently interrupted by the Iranian Revolution in 1979. I asked Peymaneh to describe for me her early childhood in Iran. The following story is in her own words……

My childhood was full of pain, sorrows and sufferings. I did not experience a real childhood at all. I learned to know war and strife while the other children around the world were playing with their balls and dolls. I learned to say, “ Down with Iran! Down with this nation , while other children around the world were sharing love.” In my childhood, my favorite young men who used to offer me bike rides, who played soccer near our house, suddenly one day disappeared. Their memories became photos, photos of martyrs, photos of gravestones, the gravestones of political prisoners. The melody of my childhood was the music of war, the sound of bullets killing the political prisoners in prison near our house at dawn. My childhood was full of war, bombs, bloodshed and nightmares. During this time, one of the most frightening words that haunted me wherever I went was the word, “rape.” How I wish I could enclose this word in a steel box and drop it in the deepest part of the ocean. I wish I could bury this word in the middle of the earth so that no other child, no other woman, would ever have to experience it! According to the rules of Islam, if a virgin should die, she would immediately go to paradise. Many women opposed the rule of Khomeini and therefore became political prisoners. They were considered “ enemies of God!” not deserving of paradise but rather Hell!  In order to ensure their fate in hell, the women were raped in prison and then immediately executed!  Now they could not go to paradise, because they were no longer virgins! This was the evil punishment inflicted on them under the rule of Khomeini.
 45 The word “ raping” is still in my dreams and in my nightmares. It seems to follow me wherever I go! My other nightmares as I grew up was running in fear from the Revolutionary Guard, who wanted to arrest me because my hijab did not cover all of my hair and I was showing too much skin and did not dress according to the Islamic dress code. My childhood meant, don’t listen to music. It meant help your father bury his favorite books, cassette tapes and photos of his dear friends, hiding it from the Revolutionary Guard.  My childhood meant, hide your Bible where no one can find it. It also meant to expect the Revolutionary Guard to break into your house for any reason! My childhood was full of fears, full of worries, full of sorrows and full of sadness. In my early childhood, I learned that, “ happiness is banned, joy is forbidden and satisfaction is boycotted…..”

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"Dark secrets behind the veil."

You are about to take a very intense, a very personal journey into the deep dark secrets that lie behind the veils in Iran. This is the true story of Baran, a young married Iranian woman that I spent over two hours on Skype listening to her very painful story. 
Baran is different from most Iranian women. She is a Lesbian. For over thirty years in Iran, she had to conceal her true identity or face a certain death. Today she lives in Turkey with her son, hiding from her husband and struggling to stay alive. This is her story......

When I was a small child of five, growing up in Iran, I knew even then that I was different from all of the other boys and girls. I found that I liked playing more with girls, rather than boys. If a boy would try to touch me or kiss me, I pulled away, I didn't let him. I didn't like it!
I remember listening to my classmates, laughing and giggling and remarking, "Oh, isn't he cute? Isn't he a nice looking boy?" And I would just laugh at them, because I had a secret, a deadly secret that I could never share with them.
In secondary school, I had just turned fifteen. I felt alone. I wanted so much to find someone like me and that's when I met Arezoo......
One day we were both alone at my house. I will never forget that day. Arezoo touched me!  Before that day, whenever I had thought about touching another girl, I immediately felt ashamed. But that day, that day was different. When Arezoo touched me, I felt good! I didn't feel ashamed. I was so excited! I had finally found a person just like me!
For two years, Arezoo and I were a couple. We had a great relationship...until that horrible day...My mother walked into my bedroom and saw Arezoo and I kissing!
She went into a rage that I have never seen before! She immediately kicked Arezoo out and then began to beat me, screaming at the top of her lungs, "You are sick! You have an illness and I will cure it for you!"
My mother had the perfect cure for me! "You will marry a man and that will cure your illness!"
I was devastated, but I had no choice. I didn't want to lose my father so I reluctantly agreed out of fear!
I will never forget the day that I was forced to marry a man. His name was Babak. For me getting married to a man was like being raped and whenever we made love, I would turn my head and close my eyes and try to pretend that Babak was a woman!
At that time, we lived in Mashhad and Babak had no idea that secretly inside I was a lesbian. Deep down inside a war was waging. My soul felt like it was being ripped out of my body. Babak wondered why I was so reluctant to have sex. He became enraged, thinking I had another man and would beat me frequently. Despite my body being bruised and battered, I gave birth to our only child on my 21st birthday. We named him Barbod. Yet instead of being happy and fulfilled, I was empty, full of despair, feeling a deep void inside of me.
When Babak was at work, I got on the internet, searching for other women, for other people like me. I began to read about Lesbian groups and discovered that I had a name, an identity, I was a Lesbian! Suddenly I didn't feel alone anymore. I quickly made my own Yahoo id, calling myself Nini Lesbian.
It was while surfing the internet and participating in groups, that I found my new partner. Her name was Niloufar.
We agreed to meet at a coffee shop. Immediately we were drawn to each other. I was 23 and Niloufar was only 18, but I didn't care. She wasn't comfortable with me being married, but we overcame our obstacles. We were very happy for two years, until one day I found out Niloufar had cheated on me.
It felt like my whole world had been shattered. I sank deep into depression. That same year we moved to Esfahan. Babak was busy with army duty and I was left alone at home. I couldn't take it anymore! I wanted desperately to marry a woman. I knew there was no freedom, no human rights in Iran, and I knew if I was discovered, it would mean my death! I also knew this was who I was, this was my identity! I couldn't change who I was!
 After moving again to Tehran, I decided to take law classes. I wanted to be a lawyer. I had visions of being a successful lawyer, defending the rights of women. Just when I got my hopes up again, I was pulled down into another pit of despair. 
What I believed was just a routine doctor's visit, turned into a nightmare. A test had revealed that I had HPV, a sexually transmitted infection and that I was at high risk for cervical cancer. The doctor informed me that I had pre-cancer cells!
That day I lost all hope. I quickly got back on the internet, desperate to find a new home, to get out of Iran and that's when I met Elli. Elli was a refugee living in Turkey. I told her my whole story. A few months later, I managed to escape with Barbod into Turkey to meet Elli. Elli promised to hide and protect me.
When Babak found out from a friend where I had gone, my friend also betrayed me and told him the whole truth of who I really was!
Babak went insane with anger. He immediately went to a judge and obtained a petition against me.
 You see, it's crime in Iran to be gay or Lesbian. After a few days, I received a death threat from Babak...."I will kill you like a dog! You are an unclean person!"
So that is my story. It's the story of every gay or Lesbian person, struggling to survive in Iran, feeling unwanted and hopeless. I have a question for you, "Do you think I am ill? Do you consider me unclean, too?"
It's ok. You don't have to agree with me. You don't have to accept me. I don't care what your religion is, remember I'm a human being just like you. I have feelings. I have fears. All I ask of you is to say a little prayer for me before you sleep tonight.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My experience with the "religion of peace," while living in Pakistan.

I recently had a powerful experience during a SKYPE with a family of Christian refugees who had fled Pakistan 2 years ago to escape being murdered by Muslims. Samira ( her real name being withheld for security reasons) tearfully shared a painful story of persecution and forced marriage that happened to her when she was just 13. I knew right away that I had to share her incredible story in order to educate Christians in the west who lead comfortable

and peaceful lives without the death threats and persecution that Samira has experienced.
Samira and her family are living in an undisclosed country, awaiting an interview with THE UNHCR so they can one day live in a safer country without fear .
 I have edited and improved on the text of what Samira sent me, but most everything else is in Samira's own words as she described it to me during our SKYPE. I deliberately entitled Islam as,"the religion of peace," in a sarcastic way in order to prove a point that some Muslims are not living up to their claim.

 My name is Samira. For many years, my family lived at peace in Pakistan at our church, where we reached out to the broken and hurting people...But one day, everything changed!
  My father is a Pastor and my Aunt  was a teacher at a Muslim school. One day, a Muslim Imam approached my Aunt with a frightening proposal. He insisted that she marry him and demanded that she and her whole family convert to Islam. Immediately my Aunt refused, declaring that she was a Christian and intended to stay that way. The Imam refused to take no for an answer and continued to demand that she become his wife, threatening to kill her and her whole family unless she agreed!
Fearing for her life, my Aunt complained about the Imam to the principal. However the principal was reluctant to take her case because of the Imam's reputation as a Muslim scholar in the city. Terrified and unsure what to do next, my Aunt left the school, but The Imam and a group of other Muslims followed her to her house where her grandmother lived. They forced their way into the house and began to beat her and her grandmother threatening to kill them if they didn't convert to Islam. In a moment of great fear and weakness, my grandmother fell down at the feet of the Imam, begging for mercy and promising to to marry and convert to Islam. The Imam gave her an ultimatum and said he would be back soon to take her aunt as his wife.
Immediately my Aunt and Grandmother ran to my Father's church to hide, but in a few days, The Imam and the group of Muslims returned and this time severely beat my father.
 I was scared to death. I couldn't take another day of watching my family being beaten by these Muslims, so my Father decided to take us to Karachi, hoping to escape anymore persecution. However, they managed to follow us to Karachi and once again threatened my father accusing him of Insulting the Prophet and threatening to have us arrested and killed. Many times in Pakistan, Muslims use the "Blasphemy Law"  against Christians because they know that the government will have them executed. In most every case, Christians are not guilty of insulting the prophet, but because of the pressure put on them by Muslims to enforce the law, they are arrested and put to death.
I love my country. I don't want to live in fear and persecution for the rest of my life. My prayer to the Lord is to one day return to Pakistan and help the poor starving Christians. Most of them don't have the money to go to school and instead they are forced to become brick makers in order to survive. For more than 14 hours a day they will be a slave in the hot sun, making bricks in order to earn money to buy food. I don't understand why other Christians won't help us. We are suffering and desperately need food and money to survive.
I told the Lord that my heart's desire is to become a missionary to help these young brick making children and teach them about Jesus. I want to live for his glory because he has saved me and my family and has given us a new life. Please pray for me and my family that God will protect us so that one day I can return to Pakistan to serve him!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"The diary of an Iranian street child."

"It is my pleasure once again to feature another excellent blog written by my 
  dear Iranian friend Paymaneh. Paymaneh is an Iranian-Christian refuge
  living in exile in Malaysia. Even though she lives faraway from her homeland,
  she has not forgotten her people. Every week on my radio program,
I give Paymaneh a "voice" by reading her powerful stories that bring awareness
 to the plight of Iranian people living behind the "iron curtain" of the Islamic
 Republic of Iran.
 In her new blog, Paymaneh takes us to the streets of Tehran and introduces us
 to the suffering children who must sell their bodies and souls to stay alive!

Every person in the world has their own story to tell. My story is the story of POVERTY!
Most children in Iran are very poor, so poor that we have to abandon going to school and instead work in the streets, in both rainy and cold weather, wandering among cars, selling flowers and snacks.

 "Sir would you like to buy these flowers? "  "Do you need some chewing gum?"
  "These Quran verses will solve the problems of your life!

 From morning until evening, exhausted and hungry, we plead with people to buy our flowers or gum.
 Unlike others, we love the traffic lights! We have to jump in front of people's cars,and quickly clean their windshields. Some people ignore us, some treat us like animals, and fortunately, a few give us some money.
 We are also known as "rented kids," who are dropped off in the morning by a mini bus at specific locations to work the streets and sell our merchandise. At the end of the day, our employer collects our earnings and maybe if we're lucky he will reward us with a few Tomans.

Who's fault is it, if our parents cannot make money, because they are in prison or addicted to drugs or disabled?

Most of our mothers, if they cannot earn money, will sell their kidneys in order to survive for another month. Most of us cannot go to school. We are bullied, offended, abused, raped, or used by our employers to carry drugs. Because of that, most of us end up becoming addicts.

We are suffering, dying, and crying out in desperation, while billions of dollars which should be ours, instead is being transferred into foreign bank accounts by Mullahs and government officials. The terrorists in Syria and Lebanon receive their illegal portion of the money to buy weapons, while we are starving and dying in the streets.
Millions of dollars are used to decorate the Masouleum of Khomeini and enhance the gold dome and the carpets inside. The Shi'e Imam's tombs are beautiful, bright and polished and we have to pay for them with our lives in darkness and despair.
We are living in hell while the Mullahs are living the lifestyles of Kings and emperors.

 I have a question for the Supreme Leader, Mr. Khamenei, what will you do with the money you received from the nuclear deal? Will you help us so that we don't have to wander the streets day and night and sell our bodies and souls to stay alive?

I feel like I don't have any hope. I don't have a future. I feel that I will never see anything different

than stop lights, trash dumpsters and cardboard boxes to sleep on for the rest of my life.
I was born in the streets and I will die in the streets.
Rooz Khosh ( Have a nice day)

         (About the author, Paymaneh Sabet)

I am an Iranian lecturer, a teacher, and a translator. But previously I also wrote journals. I love writing and producing short films. I love to write about romance, love stories, and the greatest love story between God and His people.
It is my duty to use my gifts and talents to stand up against the dictatorship in Iran and cry out for their freedom. I want to do my best to reach them with the gospel, inspite of their barriers and limitations. I want the world to know the true know their faces and the human rights atrocities they have suffered with for the past 36 years.
My biggest dream is that Iranians will know the truth and turn their hearts to Christ for true salvation, freedom, and happiness.